If I’m Mad, So Is Obama

27 Nov

More Barnaby brilliance.

From Farm Weekly (emphasis added):

QLD Nationals Senator, Barnaby Joyce, has given US President, Barack Obama, another good reason to laugh and smile during his visit to Australia, following his presidential address to a special joint parliamentary sitting in Canberra yesterday…

As he exited the chamber afterwards, President Obama shook hands with many of the Federal MP’s and Senators who jammed the chamber for the hour-long event, including Senator Joyce and other Nationals, such as Shadow Agriculture Minister, John Cobb.

If given an opportunity to get within earshot of the President, Nationals NSW Senator, John Williams, promised to make known his views on the US government cutting its Farm Bill in response to domestic spending pressures, to improve export trade conditions and opportunities for Australian farmers.

But while the exchange between President Obama and Senator Joyce didn’t deliver on the National’s Farm Bill demands in pursuit of liberalised trade, it did produce a typically colourful and poignant moment, albeit brief.

According to sources close to Senator Joyce, he told the US President as they shook hands, “Barnaby Joyce, you might remember me from WikiLeaks. I hope you read it all.”

Senator Joyce was referring to diplomatic cables exposed through WikiLeaks in August, which focussed on comments from the US Ambassador to Australia, Jeffrey Bleich.

The cables were written when Tony Abbott took over as Opposition leader in 2009 and suggested the QLD Senator’s appointment as shadow finance spokesman at the time threatened the Coalition’s economic credibility due to his “protectionist views” and the National Party’s reputation for pork barrelling on behalf of rural constituents.

Mr Abbott dumped Senator Joyce from the role after four months giving him water and regional development.

Despite perceptions the QLD Senator struggled in the finance role and may have been too outspoken or more suited to a portfolio that focussed on specific rural issues, rather than broader economic policy, not everyone agreed with the reasoning behind the decision.

Too bloody right!

In particular, Senator Joyce was widely mocked in December 2009 after warning the US government could default on its debts.

But he was vindicated earlier this year sparking no surprise from his supporters, when renowned credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s placed the US government on notice to introduce policy measures that would reduce national debt and budget deficits, or risk losing the country’s AAA credit rating.

“The joy of vindication on the prospect of a US government default is bittersweet; I was right, Wayne (Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan) was wrong,” Senator Joyce said in a recent opinion piece in The Australian newspaper.

To those sucked in by the Treasurer, placing wishful romantic theory above clinical reality, then saying “you wouldn’t cut it with the Bloomsbury group if you talk like that at our soiree”, I suggest this, get real.

A year and a half ago I implored the government to prepare contingency plans for the threat of a US default stating the prospect was “distant but real” but if it eventuated the fallout would be a financial Armageddon making the GFC look like a mere preamble.

“US President Barack Obama also used the term Armageddon in the past month, so if I’m mad, so is he.”

As this blog has documented loud and long since the days when he was Shadow Finance spokesman …

… Barnaby is right.

One Response to “If I’m Mad, So Is Obama”

  1. Betty Whiffin November 27, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    Barnaby, you are RIGHT. You have sane and sensible reasoning and insight into world financial affars. Our Treasurer is in cuckoo land thinking that Australia is immune from world financial woes. It’s not only in Europe but USA and China and to think that this will not affect Australia are the thoughts of a senseless idiot. Wish this government would get out of the way and let people with sense govern this country NOW before ti is too late. It’s getting that way now. Peter Slipper being placed in a position of honour by Julia Gillard might bring down the govt (hopefully) as he has used Taxpayers’ money for his own purposes and as a miscreant should stand triial with Thomson. Why is Labor trying to hide these misdemeanours?

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